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A Quiet Place

Lack of communication is downfall and ­salvation in this tense flick

© Paramount Pictures A family must live in silence after aliens invade Earth, hunting humans by sound.
       Predatory aliens roam Earth, hunting humans by sound. Even whispers can lead to a brutal death. Evelyn (Emily Blunt: My Little Pony: The Movie) and Lee Abbott (John Krasinski: Detroit) are working hard to keep their family life quiet. 
Sand is spread on trails from the house to town. Wooden floors are painted so everyone knows where to step to avoid creaks. Shoes are banned from the house as are all items like plates or cutlery that could make telltale sounds. The family uses sign language and crafts light signals for emergencies.
       Despite their planning, tragedy strikes when their youngest picks up a noise-making toy and is killed before his parents can reach him.
        After his death, the family splinters. Oldest daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds: Wonderstruck) blames herself and fears her father does as well. Lee draws back, secluding himself in a basement bunker as he seeks a way to defeat the aliens. Pregnant Evelyn must think of a way to deliver her baby silently and keep it from crying. Son Marcus (Noah Jupe: Wonder) is terrified of his own shadow.
       When the Abbotts face another threat, can they pull together? 
      Tense, interesting and well acted, A Quiet Place is one of the rare horror movies that doesn’t need cheap parlor tricks to entertain. Krasinski, who also directs, focuses on a family in crisis, exploring relationships and coping.
        The movie’s silence heightens tension. By crafting a film where sound is deadly, Krasinski plays on audience reaction. Rows of viewers collectively gasp or hold their breath. 
       The cast is also phenomenal. Blunt offers a wonderful, nearly silent performance. Small tremors in her face and shifts of her eyes convey more than some actresses can with pages of dialogue. She also works well with Krasinski, establishing that deep connection among the Abbotts before the alien disaster.
         Simmonds, who is a deaf actress, makes a fierce Regan, who lashes out in hurt and guilt over her part in her brother’s death.
        See the movie, but forgo the popcorn and candy lest you be the loudest thing in the theater.
Great Horror • PG-13 • 90 mins.
 
 
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